Two new CLIA travel agent initiatives, designed to help boost cruise sales, were unveiled at the 10th anniversary CLIA Conference, held in Southampton.

‘MYCLIA Clubs’ will help agents who have a specific interest in growing their sales in a specific cruise sector. Agents will have a choice of one of five clubs on cruiseexperts.org – river, ultra-luxury, contemporary, discovery and premium – and this will provide access to a special area of the website with dedicated communications and information relating to that cruise sector.

With learning a crucial element of successful selling, particularly in the fast moving cruise industry, the CLIA ‘Training Crusade’ will set a challenge for travel agents to undertake an additional 30 minutes of study a week – which equates to just six more minutes of training each day - as research from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills shows a 50% improvement in performance for those who take on training.

Addressing delegates, Andy Harmer, VP operations CLIA Europe, said: “It’s great news that the popularity of cruise holidays continues to grow, however finding specific information about one area is becoming more challenging. MYCLIA Clubs will help in providing detailed sector information, including ships, destinations, itineraries and facilities, to those agents wishing to specialise.

“Ten years ago CLIA offered no online training, but last year 38,000 online courses were completed by member travel agents and more than 2,100 attended CLIA events. This additional knowledge will have contributed to the 67% increase in the number of British passengers taking a cruise holiday since 2005. Training Crusade will challenge agents to become more informed which will lead to increased sales. And I strongly believe that with the great ‘can do’ attitude shown by our CLIA members, anything is possible.”

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